Wednesday, October 28, 2015

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?

" Take heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye LOVE the Lord your God." Joshua 23:11

This past week I have been dwelling much on the importance of being right before God... of giving my best to a righteous and holy God.

The passage of Cain and Abel  was brought up in a recent Bible study and I went home thinking about it. I thought about Cain's offering, an offering that we know was displeasing to the Lord... 

.... and then I thought about Abel's offering... an offering consisting of his best, his firstlings and the fat thereof.

Seeing God's approval of Abel's offering, Cain became very angry. Why would God be displeased with his grain offering and not accept it? We would look at it and say, " Well, Cain did bring an offering, did he not?" 

Yes, Cain did bring an offering... but God was displeased with his offering. Why? Because God knew Cain's motives and heart. It wasn't his best... 

And yet we see God answering Cain with kindness,

"If thou doest well, shalt thou  not be accepted?
 and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." 
Genesis 4:7

How often I see myself trying to place the SELF above what is required of God. 
How often I see myself trying to "maneuver" my actions to be "pleasing" before God... and still come out looking like I'm obeying God. 
  • The flesh is always concerned with "coming out on top and winning"... but God is concerned with a pure heart, a heart that is fully devoted to Him. 
  • The flesh deceives us in thinking we "can get away with it"... but God knows and searches the motives of our hearts.
God surely tests us... and reminds us that we are to take heed-- that we love the Lord our God out of a pure heart.

Oh, how necessary it is for us to examine ourselves... that we be in the Spirit and not in the flesh. For if we do well, we shall be accepted of the Lord... and we will have nothing to fear.

" Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves..." 
2 Corinthians 13:5 

Lord God... you are righteous and holy, create in us a clean heart and help us to seek after righteousness. May we be a pleasing aroma before you in Jesus Christ.

May you the love the Lord God out of a pure heart and offer your best to Him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Therefore, we were comforted in your comfort...

" ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1

Have you ever been comforted... because of someone else's comfort? I thought about this as I was reading this morning a chapter in 2 Corinthians. 

How many of us can truly, and in all honesty, say that we are most comforted, or happy for those around us who are doing well. Do we care enough? Do we want the lives of those around us to be enriched by God's blessings? Do we want to see growth and be blessed as a result of seeing the work of God being made manifest in their lives?

Well, such was the case for Apostle Paul and the Corinthians...  his desire for them to be cleansed "from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit"(v.1). How comforted he was to hear of their godly sorrow ... and as a result, see the fruits of their repentance.  How he cared for them!

Do we care for those around us... without condemning? That's always hard to do... this caring without condemning. 

His power alone can give us victory over the flesh. How encouraging!

" Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." 
Galatians 5:16

For the fruit of the Spirit is:

Temperance(Self Control)

Oh, that our care for one another would be evident in the sight of God and man. That we would indeed be of comfort to one another... and refresh those around us.

Father, may your Spirit cleanse us from all the workings of the flesh and strengthen us to attain unto holiness.

May you manifest God's grace in abundance to those in need... that your soul may be comforted and refreshed in the presence of a Holy God. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

But thanks be unto GOD, which gives us the victory...

" Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEADFAST, UNMOVEABLE, always ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is NOT IN VAIN in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58

Some months ago I read a verse that has stayed with me for a great while. And this morning I was thinking about it... and thought how needful it is for us, that we be not weary in well doing. 

I thought about the military men and women, the firefighters, the policemen and all those who have given their lives for us,... so  that we might have freedom here on earth. Those that have put their lives in harm's way. Yes, we should be most thankful for the people that gave their lives for us...  

And yet, I thought of the verse that spoke to me months ago:

" Men that have hazarded their lives 
for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
 Acts 15:26

Yes, to risk our lives,

... for the furtherance of the gospel, 
... for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
... that others might have eternal freedom.

How important it is that we would be devoted to serving our LORD GOD... in good times and in bad... for HE has indeed given us reason to rejoice. The LORD JESUS CHRIST, the ONE who offered/gave His life willingly for us... that we might know the only TRUE GOD and have eternal life. 

Oh, that our desire would be for those around us to know the LORD JESUS CHRIST.... that we would be steadfast, unmoveable... always abounding in the work of the Lord.

For indeed He gives us the victory to overcome whatever comes our way, so that His glory might be seen in us and through us.

And so this morning I was encouraged to sing a hymn as a reminder to serve Him in all I do or say.

May The Mind Of Christ My Savior Live In Me From Day To Day

May the mind of Christ my Savior
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and pow’r controlling
  All I do and say.
May the Word of Christ dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
  Only through His pow’r.
May the peace of Christ my Savior
Rule my life in every thing,
That I may be calm to comfort
  Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
  This is victory.
May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
  As I onward go.
May His beauty rest upon me
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
  Seeing only Him.

Lord, help us to be devoted to you... that the gospel may not be maligned, but rather be seen in us.

May you be encouraged to stand strong amidst the trials... knowing victory is in the Lord's hands.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

That NO flesh should glory in HIS PRESENCE...

" That in EVERY THING ye are enriched by HIM, in ALL utterance, and in ALL knowledge." 1 Corinthians 1:5

Lately, I've been thinking about my need to have the LORD JESUS CHRIST dwell richly in me. I find myself lacking often to " put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh." How easily I fall prey to the flesh.

-Pride creeps in,
-Selfishness abounds,
-and Christ is minimized in my life.

And then I think how perfectly the LORD GOD orchestrated our lives... He perfectly knows us and our tendencies. And how easily we want self glory.

Indeed God knows our tendencies,

"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, 
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart 
was only evil continually."
 Genesis 6:5

And so I think upon my need to glory in the Lord... to glorify the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, worthy of ALL praise.

Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: 
He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice:
 He will not afflict. 
Men do therefore fear Him: 
He respecteth not any that are wise of heart.
Job 37, 23, 24
Dominion and fear are with Him...
Job 25:2

How good to remember my  place before a Holy and Righteous God... and to remember that He alone enriches us with the the right words to speak and fills us with the knowledge of His will when we are humble before Him. For I am reminded that I can do nothing apart from Him.

"... for without me ye can do nothing." 
John 15:5

AND in all things, I am to glorify my Father in heaven,

" Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." 
John 15:8

O Righteous Father, help me to fear your name, and flee from self-exaltation. Enlighten my eyes to behold your glory with adoration as you continue your mighty work in me.

May you be encouraged to exalt the Lord on High today.... for in everything we are enriched by Him.